Philippines : Over 2,000 Indigenous Peoples In South Cotabato Awarded Land Titles

Some 2,686 farmers in Lake Sebu town, South Cotabato could finally claim they officially own the land they till.

This after the Department of Agrarian Reform in this province awarded to them as Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries their Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs).

Provincial agrarian officer II Felix Frias said among these ARBs, 2,256 are indigenous peoples of the T’boli tribe.

These CLOAs pertained to 13 land parcels with a total land area of 6,793 hectares at Barangay Tasiman of said town, Frias added.

Sizes of land parcels ranged from 328.86 ha to 682.35 ha, which will be managed by the ARBs in co-ownership scheme.

The process leading to the awarding of CLOAs started last year.

Frias explained the lands subject to distribution is covered under Proclamation No. 2262, or those classified under the Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran Land Resource Management Program.

These agricultural areas have also been classified as alienable and disposable.

Lake Sebu’s Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer (MARO) Celso T. Caro led the distribution of the CLOAs, together with the Community Development Officer III of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) of Lake Sebu, Peter Carado.

At the ceremony, Caro addressed the new owners in native tongue, urging them to take care of their lands and to make it productive.

His message was reinforced by Carado, and 1Lt. Christopher Cuenca of the 27th IB, who both reminded the ARBs to protect the land of their domain.

As in other such gatherings, the event also an opportunity for the office to explain to the ARBs and residents in the area RA 9700 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER).

Source: Philippines Information Agency


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